200 Ways to Show What You Know, brought to you by John Davitt from www.davittlearning.net, is a simple tool for generating ideas for products. In other words, it gives suggestions for different ways to “show what you know.” This allows the student to see that there are other options for projects besides Powerpoint presentations and papers. If you, as the teacher, don’t feel comfortable in giving your students quite that much freedom (particularly since they may not be familiar with or at the maturity level to complete some of them), you could use the generator yourself, and narrow their choices down to a few that appeal to you for assessment possibilities. Then, it might be easier for you to create accompanying rubrics with your expectations.
The Drawing Drawer is an idea that will be appealing to teachers of all levels who are familiar with the classic, “What are we supposed to do when we’re done?” Marty Reid has provided a list of fun ideas for kids who finish their work early. They include suggestions like: “Draw a picture of something you’d like to become better at doing,” or “Draw your greatest fear.” The trick, of course, is balancing the motivational value of this concept with the expectation of quality from the main assignment. However, with a little practice and clear expectations, this could be a great way to add some creativity to the daily routine. While you are visiting Marty’s page, you might also want to check out some of the other great ideas at www.incredibleart.org!
Respondo is a new tool brought to you by the creator of The Differentiator, Ian at www.byrdseed.com. As Ian describes on the Respondo page, he is still working on this tool, and welcomes any suggestions. However, from what I can see, it is a great way to incorporate creative thinking into responses to literature. It is based on the S.C.A.M.P.E.R. technique I posted about a few weeks ago, and which Ian describes in his post called “Do More with Story Structure.” Give Respondo a try the next time you want to “jazz up” your literature discussions!
My last post was about the concept of applying Google’s 20% Policy to the classroom. 100 Minutes of Genius is a similar idea. Tia Henriksen got the idea of calling it “Genius Hour” from another educator, Mrs. Krebs, who is referenced on this blog post. Also, there are links to how Mrs. Krebs introduced the idea to her students and a report of their progress that includes a Rubric of Creativity. This appears to be an idea that is spreading like wildfire, and I think that it can be adapted to many different types of learning situations. Giving students more choices that allow for creativity could be a way to reignite the passion for learning in our country.
Last year, a friend of mine told me about Google’s 20% Policy, and I immediately thought of its applications for the classroom. It was among many of my ideas that I had for the new school year that just didn’t come to fruition. And now, I find that a teacher named AJ Juliani had the same inspiration – but is actually following through with it. You can read all about Google’s Policy, and how Mr. Juliani is applying it with his students here on the “Education is My Life” blog. Be sure to read the comments that follow, as well. It makes for an interesting discussion!
This “Craftsmanship Rubric” is a great visual to use to help your students to see what your expectations are for their artwork. Kathleen O’Malley, the creator of this neat chart, recommends that you produce your own text to describe each picture. Another thought might be to ask your students to help you to come up with the descriptors for each level.
Did a child in your family get an iDevice for Christmas? Or, are you a teacher who is desperately trying to find appropriate educational apps for the classroom? It’s difficult to weed through all of the apps listed as “Educational” in the official iTunes App Store, but there are a few other resources you can use. Here are my top three Favorite Sites for Educational App Reviews:
#3: Mindleap – this site, though relatively new, allows you to choose a category or specific grade level to search.
#2: Famigo – specifically designed for the user to find family-oriented apps, and allows you to search in a variety of ways (free or paid, age level, highest rated, most popular, etc…)
#1: Appitic – this site, produced by Apple Distinguished Educators, allows you to browse for apps by: Preschool, Themes, Multiple Intelligences, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and Tools. I love that it offers apps based on MI and Bloom’s, encouraging higher order thinking skills.